- Engineers (Smep): Arup
- Historic Building Adviser: Giles Quarme & Associates
- Principal: Amanda Levete
- Project Director: Alice Dietsch
- Project Architect: Matt Wilkinson
- Team: Ho-Yin Ng, Maximiliano Arrocet, Alex Bulygin, Blandine Plenard, Chiara Zaccagnini, Fernando Ruiz Barberan, Filippo Previtali, Giulio Pellizzon, Matthew Riley, Michael Levy, Michael Wetmore, Patrick Drewello, Peter Angrave, Peter King, Raffael Petrovic, Robert Rice, Rumen Stefanov, Song Jie Lim, Stefano Bertotti, Stephen Citrone, Win Assakul
- Client: Victoria & Albert Museum
- City: London
- Country: United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter took six years to realise and transforms the V&A’s former boilerhouse yard on London’s great cultural artery, Exhibition Road. This new entrance connects the Museum with its neighbours, reinforcing the Albertopolis vision of intellectual ambition and innovation and creates a sequence of major new spaces.
The Sackler Courtyard is the world’s first all-porcelain public courtyard, and comprises over 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles, inspired by the rich tradition of ceramics at the V&A. This new public space for London also houses a café with furniture designed for the space by AL_A and manufactured by Moroso. The Sackler Courtyard reveals architecturally significant façades and details that have never previously been seen by the public. These include sgraffito decoration on the side of the Henry Cole Wing – a decorative Renaissance technique using multiple layers of coloured plaster created by the first art students at the Museum, in the late 19th century. The stonework of the Aston Webb Screen retains the damage that World War II inflicted on the Museum, which is reflected in 11 sets of new metal gates, designed by AL_A. The gates have been manufactured with a pattern of perforations tracing the imprint of the shrapnel damage on the stonework as well as the Royal Crest in the central gate
The Blavatnik Hall is a new space that will transform how visitors experience and discover the Museum and collections. Connecting the newly displayed Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Galleries of Buddhist Art and the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Sculpture Galleries, The Blavatnik Hall gives views through to The John Madejski Garden, leads to a new shop, and connects to the historic Ceramic Staircase as well as the Sackler Centre for arts education, which reopens featuring the new John Lyon’s Charity Community Gallery.
The versatile, 1,100m sq column-free Sainsbury Gallery is one of the largest temporary exhibition galleries in the UK. This flexible exhibition space sits above a floor dedicated to art handling, conservation and preparation space. The new spaces reach as far as 18 metres below ground, directly beneath the Western Range of the V&A’s Grade I listed buildings: a daring engineering and construction challenge that is made visible to the public by steel columns and a beam painted in vivid international orange that are literally holding the weight of history and the Museum’s priceless collections above.